Strategies for Interviewing, Hiring, and Retention


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How to hire the top performer, effective interview techniques. Retention Strategies

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  • Is this your current hiring strategy? If so, this presentation is for you! We’ll give you tips, tricks, and tools to create an effective hiring process that will help to maximize the efficiency of your organization.
  • Hiring and retaining good employees can be expensive, in terms of time and money. The costs associated with hiring are not often discussed, and should be understood in order to support the resources and tools needed to hire effectively and for the long term. The above statistics were provided by the Conference Board of Canada and they outline the average cost associated with hiring, as well as the average amount of time it takes to hire a new employee. When you examine both the cost and time associated with hiring, it makes sense to do it right the first time! Source:
  • Experts estimate that it takes a new employee approximately 6.2 months to provide value that is equivalent to the cost of hiring. This is the companies break even point. Generally, experts estimate that for the first month of employment, a new employee is functioning at around 25% productivity. This increases to 50% productivity between months 2 and 4. After 5 months, most employees are 75% productive in completing their regular job duties. By 6 months, most new staff are fully trained and functioning at 100% productivity. After 6 months, companies start to see a return on their recruitment investment thanks to decreased costs associated with training and workplace integration and a significant increase in productivity and positive impact on the organization. The full cost of acquiring and retaining a new employee is estimated to be anywhere between 1.5 and 3 times their annual salary.
  • Your search for qualified candidates begins well before you advertise a position. In order to find the right person for the position, it is important to identify the positions that need to be filled. You must have an updated and accurate job description. You need to know what you are looking for in a candidate.
  • Here are four areas to consider to help accurately determine which positions need to be filled and how you can fill them effectively and in a cost effective manner.
  • Many organizations hire staff when positions become available through resignation, retirement, or termination. Strategic hiring involves hiring not just to fill a position, but to ensure that critical organizational tasks are being completed effectively. The first step in the recruitment process should be to determine what critical tasks need to be done on a regular basis. One of the best ways to obtain this information is by asking the people who work right on the front lines: staff and managers. By asking for objective and verifiable feedback on the critical tasks that are required to help the organization run smoothly, you can determine what tasks are currently being completed regularly, possible areas for improvement, and tasks that are not being completed as required. You can also review the organizational goals and mandate to ensure that critical tasks are in place to meet these objectives. Finally, where possible, you can collect data on the impact of critical tasks. This can include the positive impact on productivity when tasks are done properly along with the negative impact on productivity when tasks are not completed as required. This information can help to identify areas where additional hiring is required and highlight existing critical tasks that are redundant or no longer needed.
  • One of an organization’s best resources is their human resources: the staff they already have! Before recruiting, consider if current job duties can be reassigned or redistributed to existing staff members. Even if staff require some additional training or education, this strategy can be less expensive than hiring.
  • Do you need to hire an employee to meet your current needs? Maybe not! Outsourcing can be an extremely cost effective way to maximize the efficiency of your business operations without the costs associated with a full time employee. Outsourcing to experts tends to see a quicker return on investment since it does not involve a lengthy recruitment process, training, organizational integration, or salary and benefits costs. It can be financially draining for an organization to stay on top of technology innovations. There are many third party firms across the nation that can meet the IT needs of organizations so that in house staff are not required for this function. Business process outsourcing can bring timely expert knowledge to your organization at a lower cost than hiring a permanent full time employee. Business process outsourcing can be used for functions such as customer relations management, equipment, accounting, human resources, logistics, procurement, and documentation. Knowledge process outsourcing can give your organization access to affordable high level skills. Knowledge process outsourcing is often used to assist with advanced research, analytical and technical skills, content and policy writing, and database development. It is typically short term.
  • You won’t be able to find the best candidate for the position if you do not have an updated and accurate job description. Review this checklist to ensure the job description includes these criteria. Job summary should be a few sentences that summarize the purpose of the position. Organization status describes the interactions with other staff and departments within the organization and externally. Work performed lists the core responsibilities and duties of the position along with a description of the working conditions. Consequences of error outlines the level of decision making required to be successful in the position and describes the consequences of inappropriate judgment. Supervision provided clarifies who supervises the employee. Supervision given clarifies if the position is required to supervise other employees. Education and work experience lists the minimum qualifications required for the position, and any additional special preferences. Skills lists the skills required to be successful in the position.
  • Before you even consider posting a job advertisement, outline your ideal candidate on paper. Figure out exactly what you are looking for in terms of: knowledge skills aptitudes interests key behaviours past experienceThen take a few minutes to prioritize the factors that make up your ideal candidate. Which factors are the most important to success in the position? Be sure to highlight these in the job posting. Review this list before each interview and take note of which factors each candidate possesses.
  • You have all the information you need to put together an effective job advertisement. The job description and ideal candidate profile will be your best tools in making sure the job appeals to your target audience. Make sure your job advertisement answers these questions: Here is what we are looking for; Here is what is in it for you; Does this sounds like you? If so, we want to meet you!
  • Encourage employees to apply for positions.Ask managers to identify and approach employees who are a good fit for the position.Consider what additional training or education could be provided to help an internal candidate be successful in the position.
  • Interesting to note, a 2012 study completed by a global social talent management solutions agency found that internal sources, such as employee referrals, internal candidates, walk in applications, and the organization’s website produce almost twice the number of hires compared to external sources such as job search engines, job boards, print media, and career fairs.Source:
  • Objective: Use the objective section of the candidate’s resume or cover letter to determine which position they have applied for and if their career objective is congruent with the position they have applied forPrevious job titles: Scan this to determine if previous experience is relevant to the position they have applied for.Tenure: Take a look at the candidate’s work history to see if there is a history of short terms of employment or significant gaps in employment. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but something you can ask about during your telephone interview.Work experience: This is an in-depth look at the duties and responsibilities required by their previous roles.Education: If you require a specific certification or level of education, you can review this section to determine if they meet the requirements outline in the job posting.Professionalism: Review the resume for overall appearance and attention to detail.
  • Many organizations skip this important and useful step. Once you have reviewed the resumes and selected a few that meet your criteria, pick up the phone and give each candidate a call. The telephone interview can help to quickly confirm viable candidates. You can use the telephone interview to ask candidates about different aspects of their resume (employment history, specific information about previous responsibilities). You can use the telephone interview to confirm the candidate’s qualifications, experience, workplace preferences, and salary expectations.
  • -Identify the BEST MATCH of the SKILLS and BEHAVIOURS required to those of the candidate Identify who will CHOOSE to use the skills they have-Recent and long standing behavior is most predictive of future choices
  • In order to get an accurate picture of the candidate’s skills, abilities, and personality, you should ask a variety of questions that will help you learn how they will be able to apply past experience and current knowledge to be successful in the position.
  • ExamplesWhat education do you have? What training have you taken?What awards have you received?
  • ExamplesWhat information would you need to open a personnel file?How would check the system to determine the length of someone’s years of service?What process would you follow to administer medicine?
  • ExamplesTell me about your computer skills?Tell me about your previous position, what were your responsibilities?Tell me about the work that was required in the dentist’s office?
  • ExampleWhat do you think are your strengths?Why contributions do you think we could make to this company?What does excellent patient care mean to you?Why did you leave your last job?
  • ExamplesWhy do you want to work here?What is important to you?What qualities do you like to see in your direct supervisor?Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • ExamplesTell how you would handle a patient who was unhappy with the level of care they received from you?Tell us about a time that you had to deal with a difficult client. What was the situation and how did you work toresolve it?
  • These questions are the best indicator of how an employee will perform in the workplace since past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. ExamplesBeing able to remain calm with an angry client is an important skill of this job. Tell me about a time when a client was angry because of the company’s mistake. What happened? How did YOU handle it? What was the result?
  • Written tests were widely used until the early 1960s when they fell into disfavour. They were frequently characterized as discriminatory and not job related. However, since well-constructed tests can help predict success on the job, tests have made a comeback. It is important that organizations use tests that are reliable and valid and have been designed to measure the skill or ability. Good tests can help reduce the likelihood of making a poor hiring decision.It is important to ask yourself whether the information gained will predict performance.
  • Use this as an opportunity to confirm the information provided by the candidate during the screening and interview process. By asking strategic questions, you can confirm that the candidate’s interview presentation is an accurate reflection of their previous work experience and behaviour.
  • In most of Canada, it’s against the law to fire, refuse to hire, or otherwise unfavourably treat a person just because he/she has a criminal background. Criminal record checks can also lead to discrimination against others if you use race, religion, and other grounds protected in the law as a criterion for determining who to check. Ensure that your checking policy is based on legitimate criteria associated with the position rather than the personal characteristics of the individuals seeking or holding it.Adopt a policy on criminal record checks that explains what positions require checks and why. Your policy should also:- Require a clear criminal record check for specific positions upon the start of employment;- Allow for a conditional term of employment before receipt of the results of a criminal record check; and- Include a statement that unsatisfactory criminal record check results could result in demotion or termination.Source:
  • Always consult a legal expert before requesting that applicants undergo drug testing as a condition of employment. Source:
  • A new employee file should include all the information listed above. The organization must ensure that this information remains confidential and secure.
  • The employee orientation process is the first part of a long term investment in an employee’s success. The orientation should be designed to provide easy access to general information that will help employees to better understand the organization, their position, and how to be successful. Although time consuming, there are many benefits to a comprehensive orientation process. These benefits include: Clearly communicating standards that help to reduce disputes and limit liability; Promoting consistent management; Clearly communicating policies and procedures; Demonstrating the organization’s commitment to safety, equal treatment of all staff members, and achieving organizational objectives; Providing protection from claims of discrimination and all forms of harassment.Source:
  • You’ve hired some great staff and now you need to keep them!
  • Adapted from Ivey Business Journal
  • Career development: Identifying the employee’s career goals and interests and putting a plan in place to help them achieve their career goals. Knowing this information can also help with succession planning, both for the employee’s current position and the position they hope to grow into.Skill development: Identifying new skills that the employee would like to learn to enhance their ability to do their current job or as part of their career development plan.Personal development: Can include training and counseling in areas that will help them to grow as an individual and give them the skills and abilities they need to be successful in their current position or to grow into a new position. Coaching courses are a very popular example of personal development.
  • Source:
  • Constant, transparent communication between organizations and their employees is a critical factor in retaining staff. Employees thrive and become more loyal to the organization when they feel informed about and involved in decisions, both small and large.
  • Work/life balance involves proper prioritizing between work related obligations and lifestyle. Many studies have shown that work/life balance increases retention rates and job satisfaction while decreasing absenteeism due to physical and mental illness. Tools to help employees to achieve and maintain a work/life balance include: Flexibility Telecommuting Workplace wellness programs Access to counseling or coaching services Onsite and/or emergency childcare assistance Eldercare assistance Leaves of absence for education or volunteering
  • Strategies for Interviewing, Hiring, and Retention

    1. 1. M A R C H 2 4 , 2 0 1 4 8 : 4 5 A M – 1 0 : 1 5 A M & 1 0 : 3 0 A M – 1 2 : 0 0 P M 2 0 1 4 K A I N A I W A C H I L D R E N ’ S S E R V I C E S C O R P O R A T I O N C O N F E R E N C E L I S A P E C K H A M Strategies for Interviewing, Hiring, and Retention
    2. 2. Disclaimer 2 The information presented to you today is considered to be general best practices for organizations across Canada. The information is not intended to provide legal counsel or legal advice.
    3. 3. Learning Objectives  Financial impact of effective hiring and retention  How to source qualified candidates  Effective screening processes  Contracts and Obligations  Understanding employer rights and responsibilities  Understanding employee rights and responsibilities  Incentives designed to retain the best people 3
    4. 4. Is this your current hiring strategy? 4
    5. 5. Financial impact of effective hiring and retention 5 Position Cost to Hire Executive $43 000 Management/Professional $17 000 Technical $13 300 Clerical/Support $3 300 Position Time to Hire Executive 15 weeks Management/Professional 9 weeks Technical 7 weeks Clerical Support 4 weeks
    6. 6. What factors contribute to the cost of hiring? 6  Internal resources  Preparing job posting  Candidate screening  Interviewing  Paperwork  Advertising  Drug screens, background checks, and other pre-employment assessment tests  Training and workplace integration  Costs to payroll and benefit plans
    7. 7. Return on investment 7 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% One month Four months Five months Six months Productivity Productivity
    8. 8. Minimizing recruitment costs 8 The single best way to minimize recruitment costs is to maximize the impact of each dollar spent by following a thorough and reliable recruitment process. Every time.
    9. 9. How to source qualified candidates 9  Identify the positions that need to be filled  Review and update job descriptions to accurately reflect the details of the position  Create an ideal candidate on paper  Begin your search process
    10. 10. Identify positions that need to be filled 10  Which critical tasks are not being completed?  Are there tasks that could be taken from a few different positions and compiled into a new job?  Identify current and future needs and ensure position will meet both those needs  Consider outsourcing
    11. 11. Critical Tasks 11  Identify the critical tasks that need to be done on a regular basis  Interview managers and staff  Review organizational goals and mandate  Collect data on impact of critical tasks
    12. 12. Existing resources 12  Determine if critical tasks can be reassigned to existing staff members  When reassigning tasks, remember to consider  Additional training or education to ensure staff member is successful  Amending staff member’s job description to include new responsibilities  Ensuring compensation accurately reflects the employee’s amended job description
    13. 13. Current and future needs 13  Ensure that your hiring strategy takes current AND future needs into account  Strategic planning  What are our strategic goals for the next year? 3 years? 5 years? How will we achieve these goals?  Operational planning  What do we need in place to help management and staff achieve their daily goals?  Succession planning  What will the organization do to minimize the impact if an employee resigns, becomes ill, or is terminated?
    14. 14. Outsourcing 14  Most organizations can meet some of their operational needs through outsourcing in key areas  Technology services outsourcing  Business process outsourcing  Knowledge process outsourcing
    15. 15. Job descriptions 15  Job summary  Organizational status  Work performed  Consequences of error  Supervision provided  Supervision given  Education and work experience required  Skills
    16. 16. The ideal candidate 16  Knowledge  Skills  Aptitudes  Interests  Key behaviours  Experience
    17. 17. Search process 17  Write the job advertisement  Look internally  Look externally
    18. 18. Writing the job advertisement 18  Be dynamic  Target your ideal candidate  Use bullet lists  Keep your paragraphs succinct  Make it easy to read  Include info on attractive aspects of your organization
    19. 19. Internal candidates 19 Current employees Manager recommendations Training and education
    20. 20. External candidates 20  Online job search engines  Online job boards  Career fairs  Employee referrals  Professional associations  Social media  Volunteer organizations  Headhunters  Resumes on file  Networking events  Post secondary education institutions  Former employees  Organization website  Print media  Walk in applications
    21. 21. Effective screening 21  Resume review  Telephone interview  Interview  Additional employment screening tools
    22. 22. Resume review 22  Objective  Previous job titles  Tenure  Work experience  Education  Professionalism
    23. 23. Telephone interview 23  Tell me about yourself.  Why have you applied for this position?  What specific qualifications do you have that make you a good candidate for this job?  What are your salary expectations?  What do you look for in an employer?  If you were selected for an interview, when could you be available?  If offered the job, when are you available to start?
    24. 24. The goal of the interview 24 To ask questions about how the candidate has performed in comparable situations to those required by the job in order to identify the ideal candidate and accurately predict future performance.
    25. 25. How you help the interview process 25 It is your job as the interviewer to establish a rapport with each candidate and create a relaxed environment that will support open and candid exchange of information.
    26. 26. Interviews 26  Credential questions  Technical questions  Experience questions  Opinion questions  Value questions  Situational questions  Behaviour description questions  Additional testing
    27. 27. Credential questions 27  Provide information about a person’s background, education, employment history, and past achievements  May give you an idea about what the person knows but can not tell you if the person will USE their skills the way you want
    28. 28. Technical questions 28  Relate to the specific technical information that is required in the job  Could be on a written or practical test if a specific level of skill is needed  Provide evidence that a person MAY have the knowledge that is required but can not predict whether a person will choose to use their skills and knowledge on the job
    29. 29. Experience questions 29  These questions ask about what their experience has been doing specific tasks required on the job  Do not give you information about the quality of the work that the candidate did and are not predictive of future performance  May tell you how the job requirements of past jobs are similar or different from what you are hiring to
    30. 30. Opinion questions 30  Ask for the candidate to give opinion on a particular topic  People who are very good at thinking quickly and communicating tend do well with these questions  Some risk that candidates will simply say what they think you want to hear  Can be followed up on to find out how a person actually performed  What does excellent patient care mean to you? Tell me about a time that you gave that kind of service.
    31. 31. Value questions 31  These questions let you find out what is important to the employee  Excellent tool to help determine if the candidate will be a good fit in the current organizational culture  As with opinion questions, some candidates may answer and say what they think you want to hear
    32. 32. Situational questions 32  Provide evidence about whether a person knows how to handle a given situation effectively  Provide a good opportunity to compare candidates with limited experience and so can be very useful in hiring entry level positions  Do not provide information about whether the person actually applies what they know is effective  Are more effective if followed by a personal example
    33. 33. Behaviour description questions 33  Provide information about what candidates have done previously in specific situations  Enable you to identify what a candidate will do by considering what they have done  Provide information about how the candidate handled situations and events in the past that are similar to requirements of the new job  Provide the candidate with a better understanding of the job
    34. 34. Keep it legal! 34  Avoid questions about  Nationality or race  Age  Marital or family status  Affiliations  Medical conditions or disabilities  Arrest record  Sex  Religion
    35. 35. Purpose of the interview 35 Remember! The purpose of an interview is to share enough information that both parties can make an educated decision.
    36. 36. Getting even MORE information 36  Ask for more details of a particular situation  Ask for more detail about the specific action that the candidate took  Ask for additional information about the results obtained by the candidate or the impact of the situation  Find out how recently the event happened  Ask how often the person takes similar action
    37. 37. Giving information 37  Encourage candidates to ask you questions about the job and the organization  Candidates may ask questions about the challenges of the job, culture of the organization, management styles, and expectations
    38. 38. Additional testing 38  Consider using testing when you are confident that the information obtained will help to predict future performance  Well designed tests can provide job related information on  Specific technical knowledge and skills  Intelligence  General aptitude  Abilities  Interests
    39. 39. Post interview selection tools 39  Reference checks  Criminal record checks  Physical testing to confirm ability to perform bona fide occupational requirements  Drug screening
    40. 40. Reference check 40  Confirm previous work duties and responsibilities  Confirm employee’s impact on the organization  Ask about the employee’s attendance record  Ask how the employee responded to criticism and suggestions for improvement  Confirm the employee’s strongest qualities  Ask if the person would re-hire the candidate
    41. 41. Criminal reference check 41  May be required for positions of trust  Employees that have access to large amounts of money, secure systems, or private data  May be required for positions involving contact with children or other vulnerable persons  May be required for positions that involve international travel
    42. 42. Physical testing 42  May be required for positions where an employee’s physical capabilities must meet a certain standard to ensure their ability to work safely and effectively  Most commonly used in positions with identified bona fide occupational requirements and safety requirements  Physical testing may include sight test, hearing test, lung function test, and a physical fitness test
    43. 43. Drug testing 43 “Requiring an employee or applicant for employment to undergo a drug test as a condition of employment may be considered a discriminatory practice on the ground of disability or perceived disability. Requiring an employee in, or an applicant for, a safety sensitive position to undergo alcohol testing as a condition of employment may be acceptable, given that alcohol testing can measure impairment at the time of the test, but only if the employer accommodates the needs of those who test positive and who are determine to be dependent on alcohol. . . The Act prohibits discrimination based on the actual or perceived possibility that an individual may develop a drug or alcohol dependency in the future.” Canadian Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Alcohol and Drug Testing
    44. 44. Contracts and obligations 44  Understanding the employer’s rights and responsibilities  Understanding the employee’s rights and responsibilities
    45. 45. Employer’s rights and responsibilities 45  Provide a written offer letter  Obtain the new employee’s SIN no later than 3 days after they begin working  Have the employee complete Form TD1, Personal Tax Credits Return  Create a Human Resources file  Prepare and implement an orientation plan
    46. 46. Offer letter 46  Confirm important details about the job  Location, start date, job duties, hours of work, salary, benefits, probationary period  Include copies of relevant policies and procedures that the employee is required to review  Have the employee sign and return a copy of the letter and a declaration of understanding of relevant policies and procedures
    47. 47. Social Insurance Number 47  All employers are required to view a new employee’s social insurance card within 3 days of starting work  The employee’s name and SIN must be recorded exactly as it appears on the card  Confirm that any employee with a SIN starting with 9 is eligible to work
    48. 48. Tax forms 48  Ensure that the new employee is provided with Form TD1, Personal Tax Credits Return  Ensure that the new employee is provided with any additional government forms that may be required to accurately calculate their taxable income  If you are unable to obtain the new employee’s SIN or TD1, you are still responsible for calculating and withholding appropriate payroll deductions
    49. 49. Human Resources file 49  Application  Resume and cover letter  Interview notes  Testing results  Reference check notes  Signed offer letter  Job description  Emergency contacts  Social Insurance number  Signed TD1 form  Orientation checklist  Relocation agreements and supporting documentation  Benefit enrolment forms  Garnishee or court orders  Signed confirmation of receiving and reviewing employee handbook
    50. 50. Orientation plan 50  Orientation to the business  Mission statement, organizational structure, goals and objectives  Company policies and procedures  Legislation  Safety and emergency policies and procedures  Benefits package  Tour of the facility and work area  Job responsibilities and performance expectations  Reporting relationships  Signed checklist confirming orientation has been completed
    51. 51. Employee’s rights and responsibilities 51  Have the right to work in a respectful, inclusive environment free from discrimination and harassment  Must provide SIN, identification, and signed TD1 Form  Must provide signed offer letter and signed declaration of receiving and reviewing employee handbook and other required policies  Must complete the orientation  Must carry out the duties of their position and comply with workplace rules, regulations, and policies  Must treat all coworkers, clients, and the public with respect and must not participate in any discriminatory conduct
    52. 52. Retaining staff 52  Clear performance expectations  Tools to be successful  Effective leadership  Positive work environment  Opportunities for development  Feedback and recognition  Organizational transparency  Work/Life balance
    53. 53. Performance expectations 53  Performance expectations should be clearly communicated to each employee on a regular basis  This can be done through formal performance reviews and regular feedback  Formal and informal feed back should provide information on how the employee can improve AND confirm what they are doing right
    54. 54. Tools for success 54  Ensure that employees have the tools, materials, and resources they need to be able to do their jobs effectively  Technology, additional staff resources, personal protective equipment, assistive devices, equipment, physical materials, access to information
    55. 55. Effective leadership 55 Leadership Ethical Perform now and build for the future Make others feel good Strive for common and organization goals
    56. 56. Positive work environment 56  Respectful relationships  Shared commitment to the values, goals, and vision of the organization  Sense of unity  Ample opportunities to be heard
    57. 57. Opportunities for development 57 Career PersonalSkill
    58. 58. Feedback and recognition 58  Provide feedback in the moment  Provide contextual feedback  Provide authentic feedback  Recognition can come in many forms  Private or public praise, monetary rewards, praise from their peers, time off, salary increases, gifts  A recent study found that 83% of employees said that recognition in the form of praise was more fulfilling than rewards or gifts!
    59. 59. Organizational transparency 59 Employees Organization
    60. 60. Work/Life balance 60 Needs of the organization Needs of the employee
    61. 61. Questions? 61
    62. 62. THANK YOU! 62 Thank you for the opportunity to present to you today!
    63. 63. About Us 63 Our services  Employee benefit plans  Travel insurance  Health spending accounts  Salary grids  Policy review and writing  Pension plans  Employee wellness  Employer of choice  Charitable giving  Charitable tax information  Employee mental health
    64. 64. Thank you! 64 #517-7620 Elbow Drive SW Calgary, AB T2V 1K2 403-264-5288 800-449-5866